The Project 333: January 2015 update

I’ve been doing The Project 333 – a project in wardrobe minimalism – since August 2014.

I want to talk about my mistakes, what I’ve learned, and how I’m growing as a person from this very interesting and insightful challenge to my life.

Here’s my January update.

First mistake: long dresses

I tried incorporating long dresses into my Capsule wardrobe. It didn’t work.

I found them awkward and ungainly, and just not very comfy for either lounging around or being very active, which is what I like to do. I also found them difficult to manage on escalators, when I was travelling in Hong Kong and Singapore – I kept having to lift the hems so they wouldn’t get caught.

I realised really quickly that none of the local women wear long dresses. I could see why!

So I’m calling that experiment a Failure. I tried the dresses because I’m moving into my forties now, and I thought maybe the demin shorts I usually wear might be a little too young for me. But you know what? I don’t care! I’ll move to cutoffs as I get older, or trousers instead. But I’m just not a dress person.

The dresses, with the exception of one which I really like, will be resold.

Second mistake: Trying to be something I’m not.

I’m a relaxed, easy-going person, and the clothes I feel comfortable in reflect that. Anything too structured, too formal or too feminine feels uncomfortable. I’m a jeans and shirts girl, and always will be. I need to accept that. I’m beginning to accept that.

Third mistake: Spending on feature items and neglecting the basics

I found that my original Capsule wardrobe was very short on the basics when I first began the project in late winter. I found I literally didn’t have a single pair of jeans that fit me well, so I couldn’t wear any of the lovely shirts I owned.

As I progressed into summer, I found I didn’t have any jeans shorts to wear, and my basic summer tops were missing. So these first few months of the Project have been a process of “filling in the gaps”. I now understand the importance of good basics.

Good basics for me are: jeans, jeans shorts, basic black tank tops, basic neat comfortable t-shirts, sandals, boots. These are my staple “uniform” items, and I wear them every day.

I am learning:You don’t need many clothes in a wardrobe. What you need is clothes that work well together.

For me, that means basic tops that fit well and are comfortable in all kinds of weather that I can wear all year round. I like items I can layer together. Plain black tanks work well because I can wear them underneath open shirts or kimonos, or just by themselves. Of course, finding good quality plain black tanks is another matter altogether…

My 33 item wardrobe, as it stands for January, February and March 2015.

I’m nowhere near the 33 number yet, and still have a few spaces left. My sportswear is a separate Capsule wardrobe and is not listed.

My new brown leather crossbody bag. The most expensive item I've bought in six months.
My new brown leather crossbody bag. The most expensive item I’ve bought in six months.

1. Brown crossbody bag
2. Black handbag

3. Brown leather jacket
4. Black leather jacket

5. Brown leather belt
6. Black leather belt

7. Brown leather ankle boots
8. Black leather knee boots
9. Purple sandals
10. Black dressy sandals
11. Red vans

12. Blue jeans 1
13. Blue jeans 2
14. Blue jeans shorts 1
15. Blue jeans shorts 2

16. Black tank crossback
17. Blue polkadot tank
18. Coral round neck t-shirt
19. Blue and black kimono

20.. Blue floral shirt
21. Yellow and black floral shirt
22. Yellow and green floral shirt
23. Green zigzag shirt
24. Green vintage shirt

25. Black a-line dress

26. Silver leaf ring
27. Brass circles cuff bracelet

28. Brown leather winter coat

In conclusion.

I still haven’t thrown out all the boxed up clothes I put away in August. I’m a bit scared to do so, to be honest. That whole letting go process is a big issue for me. What if I regret it? What if I need some clothing I got rid of? But the time has come, and over the next few weeks I’ll be selling everything I don’t wear any more.

The time has come to simplify, and move on.


  1. I still have a hard time parting with “skinny” clothes. Really though, letting go of them is smart because even if I do ever need them, replacing one or two pieces will make sense. I think the same thing would happen to you! All of the old clothes will go out of style anyway!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jillian – I totally understand the parting with skinny clothes problem. It’s rough. It’s also a lot harder for women than men, because our clothes are so fitted – sometimes I think fashion is against us!

      If you don’t want to let them go just yet, stick with the boxing them up. I’ve got some stuff boxed up that I’m not ready to let go off just yet. I know I’ll let it go eventually, I’m just taking my time with the process. And that’s fine.

      That’s the thing about minimalism. It doesn’t have to be a race. We don’t have to be “more minimal” than the person next door. We just need to do what is right for us šŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I applaud how far you’ve come. I wear long dresses and long skirts as my basics and interchange with sweaters and long sleeve t’s. I live in the mountains and I find them warmer since I can layer them underneath :0) It is good to realize what works for you and embrace it! I think I’ll try this 333 project and see how I can tweak my wardrobe even more ;D blessings, mari

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Mari – It really *is* a matter of working out what works for you and going with it! Everyone is different, and it has taken me a long time to realise that what looks good on my friends doesn’t necessarily work for me.

      Definitely give The Project 333 a go – you won’t regret it! For me, it’s been a process of learning that less is better, that my “uniform” is my uniform for a reason, and that I don’t have to follow trends to look my best.

      Good luck šŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for your honest evaluations – I really think Project 333 is as much about finding out what you don’t like, as much as what you do like and what does work for you. Makes me laugh that you’re approaching your next phase with items like shorts and t-shirts whereas as I write today I’m wrapped up in two jumpers and there’s snow outside!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Kathryn – I know. I always find it weird to look at the pics on Pinterest of the Spring fashions as we’re going into autumn and vice versa. But it’s also good because it’s a sneak peek – I can hear from everyone what worked for them and what didn’t, and I have their judgement when it comes to decide for us, because our fashion cycle is six months behind!

      Stay warm and toasty! šŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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